When comes to a book cover illustration, do you make your illustration much bigger than the actual cover, just in case?

  • Hei,
    I am making a book cover. I first set up the file size to be the exact dimention with bleed, and set the resolution to be 300dip. But I am think maybe it is wise to make the image in higher resolution just in case I want to make prints later, or there is a need to make poster out of the cover image for marketing purpose, and etc.

    I am considering set up the file to be 900dpi, so I have the possibility to enlarge the file 3 times in dimention later.

    Is this wise thing to do? How you guys do it in terms of book cover?

  • Pro

    @xin-li I think you have nothing to lose by taking this precaution, just in case you want to make prints later. I personally don't make prints and I usually work in the publisher's required format only. Then again, my work is 75% vector so I know I could enlarge it without too much headaches if I ever needed to.

  • @NessIllustration thanks for the input.

  • I always work on a larger canvas (in photoshop) than what the final size will be.

    I find that when I scale down it helps hide any imperfections. Also good for as you said if you want to do prints.

    So I pretty much have 2 files both 300dpi one bigger than necessary and the other exact dimensions with bleed etc. that I will drop my finished illo into when done.

    Hop that helps.

  • @Phil-Cullen thank you for sharing your process. This makes a lot of sense. DO you have a general rule of how much bigger you makes the image?

  • I used to do both cover and main illustrations in original size. But the picture book I've made ended up to be illustrated smaller then the printed version of it. This was due to the publisher who liked much more of my thumbnails then my finished illustrations (!), so that I was using a process of increasing size of small drawings on the computer, printing them on proper paper and then colorize them. I've never heard of anyone illustrating a book like this before :face_with_stuck-out_tongue_winking_eye: Wasn't my choice either. The paper had to fit my inkjet printer, but I had a very good scanner so the increasment of size was no problem. (Here's the cover.)

    So, basically it depends on your equipment if you can increase the size afterwards. Some scanners just interpolate the image if you go over a certain value of dpi. You could try by just scanning any of your images with 900dpi, and print it three times the size of the original to see if you remain the quality.

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